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A large number of factors affect the consistency of the temperature record over time.
So many, in fact, that raw temperature recordings are not always suitable for characterising long-term changes in our climate.
As Australia is so large and contains a rich variety of climates, climatologists need to carefully account for changes in the network.
Each day, automated and semi-automated quality control systems identify observational errors using methods such as comparison with data from nearby sites.
Unfortunately for modern-day scientists, there was no common standard for observing equipment during the colonial period.
Any number of instrument configurations were used, including—perhaps iconically—thermometers housed in beer crates on outback verandas.
Other tasks require a great deal of scientific knowledge, such as understanding the impact of technology changes on the consistency of the data over time.
While equipment has been standardised and calibrated by the Bureau since 1908, there have been large changes in technology since that time.